I have yet to write a lot of material about Parian, the nation to Findalay’s West ruled by an emperor who considers himself a god. Check out the excerpt from the Exploration Age Campaign Guide below.

Map of Parian

Map of Parian

In Parian there is one man who holds all the power. He is not just a political leader, but the only true force in the world as far as his people are concerned. In their eyes he is God and to say anything else would be a heresy punishable by death.

How does one man get all this power? How do his people not riot in the streets? Emperor Quan has the strongest military in the world at his command and his command alone.

The Emperor’s Military

Don’t mess with Emperor Quan, dragon!

In Parian the armed forces as a whole are referred to as The Emperor’s Military. This simple and direct title is so all might know to whom the military belongs. There is no question Emperor Quan is the owner of all Parian.

Parian’s soldiers swear an oath to serve and protect the emperor with their lives and obey his every command. These oaths are reinforced by the attitudes of fellow soldiers and superior officers. Members of the military are constantly reminded of the importance of their job for they must protect and carry out the divine will of Emperor Quan. These reminders come written in handbooks and posters, verbally communicated by fellow soldiers, and from the emperor himself each day via a mass sending spell. It only takes a matter of days to brainwash any recruits who aren’t already 100% on board before signing up. Every member of the military is ready to give his or her life for Parian and Emperor Quan.

Another reason Parian’s soldiers love their country – they get the best treatment. Good meals, good pay, and they are well-respected by others for their position. Soldiers receive the choicest treatment at most businesses because the folk of Parian either love or fear them. Their undying loyalty to Emperor – gives them singular purpose and focus that makes them determined and terrifying.

Branches of Parian’s Military

  • The Emperor’s Army The largest branch of Parian’s military is definitely its standing army. The army breaks down into specialized units of foot soldiers, front-line pole-arm fighters, tiger-riding cavalry, siege weapon operators, grenadiers, riflemen, archer snipers and more. They train constantly, even when they sail to war in the cargo holds of massive, specialized galleys. Member of the army are tortured to death if they run from a battle or surrender so they fight until the bitter end.
  • The Emperor’s Navy While Marrial is known for its fast ships, Parian is known for battleships of enormous size. Huge battleships with rows upon rows of cannons spell certain destruction for enemy ships. The men and women of Parian’s navy are disciplined, clean, and trained in hand to hand combat. Unlike the specialization of The Emperor’s Army, The Emperor’s Navy expects its personnel to be well-rounded and capable of doing every job at sea.
  • The Silent Fury There is a smaller unit of specialized militants which answer directly to Emperor. These elite ornithopter pilots drop bombs atop strategic targets. The ornithopters can be carried and launched from large naval vessels or the land, making them versatile. The hot-shot ornithopter pilots are famously arrogant. They see themselves as superior to the other branches of the military because they are literally above it all.
  • The Emperor’s Hand There isn’t much known about this secret branch of the military and when asked about it Emperor denies its existence. However, Parian moles have been discovered throughout Findalay in some information-sensitive areas. These spies have been known to call themselves The Emperor’s Hand. How much they know and how many spies there are remain to be seen. Their exact purpose is unknown to any other than Emperor himself. In addition, it is whispered by the folk of Parian that The Emperor’s Hand has undercover agents watching for rebellious activity domestically.
  • The Emperor’s Armor Parian’s cream of the crop warriors are chosen for the highest of honors. Emperor Quan has 1,000 elite bodyguards who have risen through the ranks of The Emperor’s Military. They are his personal shadow and protectors. Their tongues have been removed so they may not speak of any strategy or secrets they witness during Quan’s meetings. They communicate to one another with a unique sign language and are required to pray to Emperor Quan eight times a day.

Joining The Military

They want YOU!

Joining The Emperor’s Military requires passing tests of physical fitness, mental acuity, and ethics. Ethics is the most important of these for bodies can be shaped and minds can be molded, but what is inside one’s heart cannot be changed. The members of Parian’s military want men and women to join who are undyingly faithful to their country, emperor, and fellow soldiers.

These feelings are commonplace in Parian, since everyday life is full of propaganda, patriotism, and displays of support for the emperor. The military also uses these tests as a screening process. Those who do not pass the ethics tests are not just barred from The Emperor’s Military, but depending on the severity of their failure they could be exiled, imprisoned, or put to death.

Heroic Examples

Why can’t everyone be more like Klaus?

Those soldiers who exemplify themselves in battle are held up throughout Parian as heroes and examples to its citizens. Soldiers can achieve instant fame through deeds in battle, though usually ones which involve personal sacrifice and help reinforce what makes a model citizen of Parian. Every hero raised up by legendary stories has a political motive behind the move.

Some of Parian’s most storied heroes killed traitorous friends or spouses, laid down their lives to personally save an emperor, lost limbs or organs taking on a horde of enemies, or somehow chose Parian and an emperor over other meaningful personal relationships. These stories are told to children from the time they are young as bedtime stories and nursery rhymes. Quan has a number of bards in his palace ready to be teleported across the country and sing the praises of heroes who are doing right by Parian.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcast on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

  1. joelastowski says:

    Love the parallels to ancient China. Have you seen the scenes of the Imperial Army in Zhang Yimou’s 2002 film “Hero” (w/ Jet Li)? Just breathtaking (though the subbed Chinese version is better than the dubbed US release, totally different ending). Or John Woo’s 2008 “Red Cliff”? Or any of the Dynasty Warriors games? That’s some good Imperial Army stuff right there. Makes me want to watch/play those again just thinking about it.

    The biggest question I have is how a member of the Parian military would become an adventuring PC. Must they be exiled/drummed-out, or is it a thing where after your military time, you can go off and do other things (if they are ever allowed to leave)? Would a Parian soldier active in another land (without the rest of the army with him/her) have to be a member of the Emperor’s Hand, or are there “special divisions” or ambassadorial units that might find a way to justify that kind of character background?

    And is it just this one Emperor? Is he part of a line of Emperors? Is it a royal family, or does one get “appointed by god(s)” for eternity (similar to the Jade Emperor of the afterlife in the Eastern expansion of Wraith: The Oblivion)? I’m curious to learn more about this Emperor, too (though maybe that’s a separate expansion PDF for you to release later). Is he human? How old is he? Is he a sorcerer (a la Dark Sun)? A dragon in disguise? An actual god? Undead? And, probably most importantly, is he voiced by Pat Morita (who did the Emperor’s voice in Mulan)?

    Lots of potential here. A very story-rich environment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooooo. I do love Hero. I haven’t interacted with the others, but I will have to check them out!

      One can leave the military in Parian, though it’s not encouraged. I think I should probably write up a section on that as well. It’s a great idea!!!

      As for the emperor… you’ll have to read on, sir! There will be more about him in the future. All I can say is he is worshipped as God. Like the one and only. And as far as his voice goes… Pat Morita wasn’t available, but Greg Blair’s sultry tones were. Look forward to seeing him voice Quan in the upcoming Exploration Age cartoon.

      Thank you, Joe. Your encouragement means a lot!


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